A furious Sebastian Vettel has slammed Pirelli after a tyre blowout cost him a podium finish at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver held third spot until the penultimate lap when he suffered a dramatic tyre failure on the Kemmel Straight, handing the final podium place to Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
The Maranello team had elected to run a one-stop strategy which saw the four-time world champion use a set of medium compound tyres for a 28 lap period following his pit stop on lap 14.
Angered by the issue, Vettel labelled Pirelli’s performance as ‘unacceptable’ with the failure arriving just two days after Nico Rosberg suffered a tyre blowout at the high speed Blanchimont corner during Friday practice.
“How many laps was I missing? Not many,” Vettel told BBC Sport.
“Things like that are not allowed to happen. If it happens 200 metres earlier, I’m not standing here now.
“I don’t know what else needs to happen.
“I tell you what’s upsetting. What’s upsetting for one thing is the result. We deserved to finish on the podium.
“The other thing, like I said, if this happens earlier…
“(Tyres are) a theme that keeps coming around, that nobody is mentioning, but it is unacceptable.”
In a post race interview, Pirelli boss Paul Hembery claimed Vettel’s blowout was caused because the tyre was at the end of its life.
“It was at the end of wear-life,” said Hembery.
“Any tyre in the world, when it gets to the end of its wear-life, you’re going to have a problem.
“(He did) 28 laps, it was more we thought the strategy would be based on two or three stops, as the majority did, but they clearly felt they could make it work on the one stop. They obviously felt that was feasible.
“Wear-life was indicated at around 40 laps, but it’s an indication and race conditions can change that and some factors involved in racing mean that sometimes it’s not a precise datum. Other teams were taking a different direction.”
Meanwhile, Rosberg echoed Vettel’s views on the tyre situation with the Mercedes driver calling for action to be taken.
“Vettel exploding his tyre is really poor it shouldn’t happen and it keeps on happening in other categories as well,” Rosberg told Sky F1.
“Both of us were so lucky, if it happens a couple metres later or earlier we will have one of the biggest shunts ever.
“They need to figure something out to make it safer.
“For example we have those rear view cameras, at least make that live viewing for everyone so they can keep an eye on it (the tyres).
“With me you could see the tyre breaking up half a lap early, so if we had the camera they could have slowed me down….something needs to be done to improve it.”